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Ferrari V10 to rethink F1 engine design?

RUMORS in Italy are suggesting that the new Ferrari V10, which is already bench-testing in Italy and will run in a car later in the autumn, is going to be revolutionary in terms of current F1 design thinking.

F1 engine design has not changed since the 1960s, with the engines being used as load-bearing units, linking the monocoque with the gearbox and rear wheels. This has meant that the engines needed to be built to accept chassis loading: having had to be heavier than is actually necessary because, overall, it is still possible to build a lighter car if the engines are load-bearing. We hear, however, that the Ferrari V10 may be different and will not be load-bearing. This means that it can be considerably lighter than other current engines. The V12 used at the moment weighs 265lbs, but we hear that the new V10 is designed to weigh just 220lbs - saving 45lbs. With the aerospace composite materials available today, it may be possible for a team to build a load-bearing frame for the engine which weighs less. The advantages of a smaller and lighter engine block are that weight can be transferred forward and that the engine can run at higher revs.

We hear that one of the new V10s has been run to destruction at more than 18,000rpm, although it will run at about 14,000rpm in action.

The new engine has been designed by the little-known Frenchman Simon, who was poached from Peugeot Sport by Jean Todt. He has worked with another ex-Peugeot man (Marie) and with ex-Honda engine designer Osamo Goto. The entire project is being run by the team's head of engine design Paolo Martinelli, who replaced Claudio Lombardi earlier this year.

Before deciding on a V10 design, Ferrari did feasibility studies for V12, V10 and V8 engines.

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